Do you think parents should be held responsible for children’s crimes? Who should be punished when a child causes trouble at school or in public? Find out in this essay!
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There is no doubt that some children engage in criminal activities, perhaps thinking that they are invincible. Some of the crimes undertaken by children encompass drug use, bullying, vandalism, and other forms of juvenile delinquency. However, a few children take part in major criminal activities such as rape or even homicide (Mackler et al. 388-392).
The question of “should parents be held responsible for their children’s crimes?” is divisive. Some people argue that parents should be held responsible for the crimes of their children while others affirm that they should not be liable. Since parenting is crucial to molding the behavior of children, it is necessary that parents be educated on proper ways of raising their children.
Reasons Why Parents Should Be Held Responsible for Their Children’s Crimes
Parents hold much accountability in the course of rearing their children. Parents should teach children what is right and wrong and the best means of behaving as a way of ensuring that they become responsible people within the society instead of juvenile delinquents. In this aspect, parents have the responsibility of inculcating values into their children as they grow (Pastorelli et al. 824-827). This makes children always make proper decisions in their daily lives. On this note, parents should be held responsible for the crimes of their children. Holding parents responsible does not in any way insinuate that the children are blameless for their criminal activities. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive, which signifies that they ought to both be held accountable.
Since parents ought to be aware of and control the actions of their children, they should accept the responsibility of bearing the consequences of their involvement in crimes. On this note, parents should take it as their failure when children develop bad behaviors since this will enable them to tackle the problem effectively (Mackler et al. 389-391). The fear of taking responsibility for their children’s involvement in crime will make parents punish them each time they err as the failure to do so is what makes their behavior crooked and leads to their committing felony.
Reasons Why Parents Should Not Be Held Responsible for Their Children’s Crimes
Some people are convinced that parents should not be held responsible for the crimes of their children. This is because children have a choice to behave in the way they deem fit and holding them responsible for their criminal behavior is a way of instilling good morals in them. Holding parents responsible for the crimes of their children is a means of shifting the blame, which does not seek to address the problem (Mackler et al. 390-397). This only makes it much easier for children to engage in misdemeanor as they know that their parents will take the blame and not themselves.
Parents should not be held responsible for the crimes of their children. The engagement in crime by children does not always signify that their parents failed to inculcate good morals in them. Some children could have been raised well but attributable to such factors as negative peer pressure, choose a different route, and totally misbehave (Pastorelli et al. 826-830). Although parents are supposed to supervise and correct their children, they are not to blame for every one of their actions. Rebellious children will engage in evil behavior irrespective of their being punished or taught good morals by their parents.
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Some of the criminal behaviors undertaken by children include substance abuse, bullying, and vandalism. Since parenting is vital to shaping the behavior of children, there is a need to educate parents on suitable ways of raising their children. Parents should not be held responsible for the crimes of their children as other factors such as negative peer influence play a critical role.
Mackler, Jennifer S., et al. “Parenting Stress, Parental Reactions, and Externalizing Behavior from Ages 4 to 10.” Journal of Marriage and Family, vol. 77, no. 2, 2015, pp. 388-406.
Pastorelli, Concetta, et al. “Positive Parenting and Children’s Prosocial Behavior in Eight Countries.” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, vol. 57, no. 7, 2016, pp. 824-834.